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ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. 



the neighbourhood of Abbeville, and stated that the bed at Moulin- 
Quignon was referable to the former, or earlier division of the series. 

Professor George Busk, F.R.S., then read the following paper: 

Notes on some Human Remains found at Luton, near Chatham. 
By George Busk, F.R.S. 

When my attention was first drawn by Dr. Hunt and Mr. Carter 
Blake to the bones, on which the few following observations are 
offered, it was supposed by the Rev. Mr. Rivers, through whom 
they had been forwarded to the Anthropological Society, that they 
had been imbedded in the brick-earth, or superficial alluvial or 
fluviatile deposit covering the drift gravel which fills the bottom of 
the Vale of Luton, near Chatham. Had this really been the case, 
the bones would of course be of the very highest interest. 

The observations and inquiries, however, of Mr. Hughes, an officer 
of the Geological Survey, have since shown beyond doubt that the 
remains in question were lodged, not in the brick-earth, but in a 
more superficial soil, brought down by the weathering and rain-wash 
of the hill side, and filling up the hollows on the surface of the brick- 
earth,* as shown in the accompanying diagram, prepared by Mr. 




Hughes, from whose letter to Professor Ramsay the following extract 
will make this part of the subject quite clear : " I have not," he says, 
" the least hesitation in stating that they were in the rain-wash or 
run of the hill, and buried in that. They were found at a depth of 
about six feet, in the bed marked (a). The soil above them was 
mixed with black mould and disturbed, as if there had been a pit 
there. Two large stones were found between the skeletons, as if 
they had been thrown in after them. One of these, I was informed, 
was rag-stone, the other a piece of sand-stone, similar to that fre- 
quently found in the gravel." 

The interest, therefore, that would have attached to the bones, had 
they been of an antiquity at all commensurate with that of the brick- 
earth, no longer appertains to them. 

But although this special interest is wanting, the remains, and more 
especially the crania, nevertheless present several points of some 
interest, and it is upon these I now proceed to remark. 

* A " terrain meuble sur des peiites" of M. Elie lie Beaumont. 



11 TRANSACTIONS OF THE 

The skulls, as the figure will show (figs. 1 and 2), are very 




Fig. 1. Fi S- s - 

much alike in all essential characters, a circumstance usually ob- 
servable in crania belonging to very ancient and comparatively un- 
mixed races. They are dolichocephalic, orthognathic, but at the same 
time phsenozygous ;* of an elegant ovoid contour in the vertical view, 
and perfectly symmetrical. Their dimensions, as far as the broken 
state of the bones allowed of their being taken, are as under : 































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* In certain crania, viewed on the vertical aspect, the zygomatic arches can be 
seen projecting more or less on the sides, whilst in others these processes are 
wholly concealed. For the former condition I venture to propose the term 
"pkwnozygous," and for the latter " apluenozygous." 



ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. Xlll 

In No. 1, which alone is furnished with the lower jaw, that bone 
has its angle everted ; the teeth are in very perfect condition, and be- 
token a man in the prime of life or early manhood. The mastoid 
processes and muscular impressions in both crania are well developed. 
The frontal sinuses capacious, and the supraorbital ridges prominent. 
The lambdoidal sutures are complex, but there are no wormian bones. 

In the absence of all extraneous evidence, beyond what the site and 
mode of their sepulture may afford, we have no guide in the condition 
or conformation of the bones themselves, to anything more than a 
conjecture with respect to the age to which they belong. Their con- 
dition shows a long residence in the ground, and proves that the 
skeletons have remained undisturbed in their resting place. In form 
they do not belong to either of the two more ancient types of crania 
found in Britain, viz., the cymbecephalic, supposed by Dr. Wilson to 
be the most ancient, and the brachycephalic, considered by the learned 
authors of the Crania Britannica as the true ancient British form. 
Butbesidesthis,on examination of the bones themselves, before I was in- 
formed of Mr. Hughes' account of the true nature of the ground in which 
they were buried, I saw sufficient evidence to prove that they had in 
all probability belonged to individuals living at a time when sharp 
metallic weapons were in use, and therefore, that all question of their 
belonging to the stone period, or even to that in which the only 
metal was bronze, might be dismissed. Both the individuals to whom 
the skulls belonged appear, in fact, to have been killed by sword 
cuts on the head. No. 1 seems to have received two cuts meeting at 
an acute angle behind the vertex, and also a downward cut, which has 
shaved off the left external angular process of the frontal bone, the 
edge of the weapon, which was slightly notched or hacked, also glancing 
off and removing a very thin slice from the surface of the squamous 
part of the temporal bone on the same side. The malar bone has also 
been broken by the force of the blow. No. 2 was probably slain by 
a single cut on the right side of the head, causing a straight incision 
through the frontal and parietal bones, extending from the temple to 
above the ear. The skull in this case also appears to have been 
broken in or smashed by some blunt instrument, such as a club or 
mace, or large stone, etc. And it is not, therefore, very unlikely that 
one or other of the two large stones found with the skeletons was the 
agent by which this injury was inflicted either immediately before or 
after death. From the direction, and situation of the cuts on the top 
of the head, it may be supposed that they were given from above, when 
the victims were upright; and I therefore imagine that they were 
slain by an opponent or opponents on horseback. 

Another point worth attending to in these bones, as in all old bones 
perhaps, is the amount and kind of chemical change they have under- 
gone — a subject to which, notwithstanding the attention that has been 
devoted to it, still requires very considerable elucidation. The shortest 
way of showing the comparative change in the Chatham bones, will 
be to place their analysis in a table, with that of some other bones, 
either fossil or of considerable but uncertain antiquity. The following 
are the only ones I have myself as yet had time or opportunity to 
examine. 



TRANSACTIONS OF THE 



Constituents 0/(jo, 



Recent human bone (humerus). . . . 

Chatham (loam, etc.) 

Lewisham (chalk) 

Leicester (gravel under a house) . . 

Mewslade (ochreous loam) 

Gallo-Roman, St. Acheul (sand) .. 
Danish kitchen-midden (animal?) 

(pebbles) 

Mesnieres (ferruginous gravel) 

Menchecourt (fossil, sand) 

St. Acheul (fossil, gravel)* 

El. primigenius : (coprolite beds)t.. 



OS 



33-G 

ie- 

95 
21-05 
So- 
30- 

105 
9-0 

8- 

8? 

5-0? 



8-3 
17- 
103 

14-7 

8-0 
7-? 

13-3 

7-7 
14- 
I8- 



60- 
67- 
81' 
64-1 
OS- 
OS- 

70- 

83-3 

78- 

74- 

87-0 



Foreign Elements. 



Much iron. 

Iron. 

Iron. 

Iron. 

Iron. 

Iron. 

Iron, abundant. 
Iron ; fluorine. 
Iron, abundant ; fluorine. 
Iron very abundant in form 
ofsulphuret; fluorine. 



The list is of course too meagre to serve as the basis for any general 
consideration respecting the posthumous chemical changes in bone. 
I shall, therefore, with reference to it merely remark, that it appears 
probable: 1. That in almost all cases, whatever the soil or situation, 
long-buried bones contain a notable amount of iron ; 2. That the 
amount of organic matter is invariably much diminished ; 3. That 
the proportion of carbonates is usually much augmented ; 4. That 
a still longer abode in the ground, whatever the soil, is attended with 
the acquisition of a marked quantity of fluorine, as has been often 
shown before. 

Mr. Blake paid a high tribute of admiration to Professor Busk for 
the ingenious manner in which he had put together the fragmentary 
remains which at an early period had been placed on the Society's 
table [Anthropological Review, p. si], and complimented him on the 
lucid manner in which he had deduced the age and conditions of 
deposit. 

Mr. Chaeleswoeth suggested the great value of investigating the 
chemical conditions of fossil before determining their geological age. 
In the Crag deposits the bones look recent, but the amount of animal 
matter contained in them is no proof of their geological age. 

Professor Btjsk pointed out that the bones in the Crag contained a 
large quantity of fluorine, much more than in the bones from Abbeville. 

An animated coversation then ensued respecting the genuineness of 
the human jaw from Abbeville, in which Professor Busk, Mr. C. C. 
Blake, Mr. Charlesworth, Mr. Hogg, Mr. Pengelly, and the President 
took part. 



* The St. Acheul bone, though losing the above weight by incineration, is not 
charred, nor does it afford the odour of burnt animal matter. 
+ A considerable evolution of sulphur on incineration.